The use of mobile applications by public transport commuters in Gauteng, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • SDG 9
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Background: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought about a ‘singularity’ – that is ‘an event which changes things so fundamentally that there is absolutely no going back’. The aforesaid change may be attributed to the way that the modern consumer thinks, communicates and interacts with the environment. Because businesses need to adapt and offer new innovative ways of products and service delivery, early technology adopters are more likely to experience favourable business outcomes, including increased revenue potential and a better market position in comparison to competitors. Objectives: The transport industry may be regarded as early adopters of new technology. Thus, the objective of this study is to determine the perceived use and usefulness of mobile applications used within the public transport industry of South Africa. Method: This study adopted a positivist stance with a deductive research approach utilising the technology acceptance model theory as a departure point for the study. A mixed method research design was selected for this exploratory study, utilising a survey strategy comprising both closed and open-ended questions as a snapshot of the perceived usefulness of a mobile application within the South African public transport domain. A convenience sample of a hundred Gautrain commuters was selected. Main findings: Based on descriptive statistics, the main findings of this study indicate a positive relationship between the perceived ease of use and usefulness of the Gautrain Buddy application in the dissemination of Gautrain-specific information. Some of the results of the study have also been presented at an international conference [(for the conference details, please refer to the reference list Niemand and Chauke (2016)]. Conclusion: The sample of commuters forming part of the study indicates that mobile applications can be useful in the dissemination of public transport information in Gauteng, South Africa.